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Modest Q1 growth in Indian handset sales, but multi-SIM is a big draw: CyberMedia Research

'Indian' brand Micromax, crashes into big league  of global makersNew Delhi July 4, 2012: India mobile phone sales cross 50 million in the first quarter of 2012, representing a 9.1 percent year on year growth. Nokia retained leadership position with 23% share, followed by Samsung at second position with 14.1% and Micromax at third position with 5.8%, in terms of sales (unit shipments) during January-March 2012. 
Smartphone sales touched 2.7 million units during this period and Samsung emerged as the leader in the smartphone segment with a 40.4% share, followed at No. 2 and No. 3 by Nokia with 25.5% and RIM with 12.3% share respectively.
This year, Samsung launched seven new smartphone models in India before end March, further tightening its grip on sales in different price bands between Rs  7,500 to Rs  27,000. This is the range in which the company sells its portfolio of smartphones currently.
Says Anirban Banerjee, Associate Vice President, Research and Advisory Services, CyberMedia Research: "As the India mobile handsets market grows in maturity, the needs of users are clearly seen to be converging around two major form factors – high-power, high-speed smart phones vis-à-vis value-plus, content-enabled feature phones. While most players are strong in a particular category, Samsung and others have been able to maintain a strong presence across the spectrum, driven mainly by innovation, quick time-to-market and a segmented approach".
Adds Naveen Mishra, Lead Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice:"Players like Motorola and Sony have clearly chosen to stay in the 'high value' smart phones segment, which accounts for just 5.3% of shipments but added up to as much as 23.4% of the market value in 1Q 2012. Currently, large, international players like Nokia and RIM, as well as relatively new entrants like Micromax, Karbonn, Lava and Spice are faced with the challenge to enhance their portfolio of products, models and services, to stay relevant and profitable in the long run".
Shipments of multi-SIM handset category continued its rise, accounting for as much as 67.7% of total shipments in 1Q 2012. However, even more significantly, total shipments of 3G-enabled mobile handsets in the country touched 4.7 million units during 1Q 2012 (January-March 2012). While this was a decline of (-)7.8% over the 4Q 2011 (October-December 2011) 'festival quarter', it was a growth of 34.3% over 1Q 2011 (January-March 2011).
"With the recently announced reduction in tariffs of 3G services by as much as 70% by leading India telecom service providers, the market for both 3G-enabled devices and mobile broadband-driven content is likely to see an upward trend in adoption in the forthcoming quarters", saysTarun Pathak, Analyst, CMR Telecoms Practice.